You are currently viewing Follow the Money to See Why US “Healthcare” Really Means US Sick-care & Early Death

Follow the Money to See Why US “Healthcare” Really Means US Sick-care & Early Death

The number one cause of death and disability in the United States is diet. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, the Standard American Diet (SAD), now kills hundreds of thousands of more people each year than cigarette smoking. Seventy one percent of Americans are obese or overweight, and our top killers, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, can all be prevented, effectively treated, and even reversed with a whole food plant-based diet. And it is not just that a healthy plant-based diet is the only diet that can reverse these deadly diseases, it is also the only way to reverse them as well. Americans are sick, and that is right where the US “healthcare” system wants them. The US healthcare or sick-care industry does all it can to keep people in the dark regarding the remarkable healing power of plant-based nutrition, because if people adopted healthy vegan diets and started to get well, the bulk of the “healthcare” industry’s profits would disappear. In other words, the US “healthcare” industry needs people to be sick in order to maximize profits. And despite the US outspending everyone else on “healthcare”, its so-called healthcare continues to rank dead last in most quality of care categories. Simply put, US “healthcare” is not just crazy expensive and unavailable to many, it is also horrendous in many other respects too.

So, what happens when you have a broken “healthcare” system, and a population of mostly sick people when a pandemic hits? Devastation.

Do you know that 40-90 million Americans are either underinsured or have no health insurance? And that about one-third of US COVID-19 deaths (about 330,000 people), and 40% of infections were tied to a lack of insurance? Despite most Americans having health issues, universal healthcare could have still saved the US over $105 billion in health care costs associated with hospitalizations from COVID (on top of the estimated $450 billion that could be saved in a non pandemic year). No kidding. In 2018, Yale University concluded that Medicare for All would save at least 70,000 US lives, and $450 billion annually (again, this was prior to the pandemic). According to Yale’s Alison Galvani “Health care reform is long overdue in the US…Americans are needlessly losing lives and money.” How long overdue? The majority of Americans have wanted universal health care for decades, and many of the few who remain opposed, continue to believe the lies of the lobbyists and politicians. In addition, nearly half of the US population is living at or below poverty levels and are one emergency away from being completely wiped out financially. And a disproportionate number of these people have no health insurance, as over 500,000 Americans lost their homes in 2021 due to Medical bills. The late author and activist Barbara Ehrenrich often referred to the US health industry as the “American Health-Industrial Complex”, which sounds about right. It is absolutely criminal for the United States, the wealthiest country in the world, to not provide universal healthcare for its citizens.

So, why don’t we have Medicare for All? I would argue that it is what some people have described as the Ass*ole-ification of America. Or perhaps Noam Chomsky summed it up best when he described the US as a “criminal state that is run by corporate power.” Either way, just follow the money.

President Joe Biden has continued to carry the torch of his predecessors by denying Americans universal healthcare coverage, while proudly declaring that he will veto any “Medicare for All” legislation (unsurprisingly, Biden has received millions of dollars from the healthcare industry, including Big Pharma). The US spends over $3.6 trillion each year on healthcare, and the pharmaceutical industry’s revenues top $1.25 trillion (globally). Just as never ending wars provide never ending profits for the war profiteers, the promotion of never ending diseases is the name of the game when obscene profits from “healthcare” are the sole objective for unchecked corporations and the wealthy few. And just as the US grotesquely outspends the next 10 countries combined on its military each year, the United States also outspends every other country on the planet in healthcare too. Despite these unprecedented expenditures, US “healthcare” continues to fail Americans, as the US is the only one of the 25 wealthiest countries to not provide Universal Healthcare (Sick-care) to its citizens. Wow. And just like the US military, our current “sick-care” system and its profits over people mentality, is killing countless people each and every day as well.  

“How peculiar it feels
to speak about
health care in America
taking care of people’s
while our government
the limbs
off children
in faraway lands.
And starves and imprisons
not a few of them
at home. 
How odd
that it seems
not obviously known
that true health care
must mean, at minimum,
deliberate non-harming
of anyone?” 
― Alice Walker, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart

And just as Americans on Medicare visit more medical “specialists” as they age, prescription drug use in the US increases with age as well. Seventy-five percent of Americans between the age of 50 to 64 use prescription drugs, compared to 91 percent of those 80 and older. The average number of prescriptions filled also increases with age, from 13 filled annually for those between the ages of 50 and 64, to 22 filled annually for those 80 and older. Wow. It is estimated that over 250,000 Americans die each year due to medical care/errors (Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) alone kill more than 100,000 people in the US every year).
Click here for more information.

“In the world of medicine, if I put you on a pill, I could see you back every three months for the rest of your life. That’s how we make money in medicine. If I put you on a plant-based diet and you get better, I may never see you again.”
– James Bennie, MD

There is good news however, as people who adopt healthy plant-based diets, most often say good-bye to doctor visits and prescription drugs, and can extend their life expectancy by at least 12-14 years! There are no guarantees for any of us, but a whole food plant-based diet can reduce your chances for developing chronic disease, and other illnesses by about 80%. If a plant based diet was available in pill form, every doctor would sell it for a profit. It is amazing how most doctors continue to know next to nothing about nutrition, let alone the power of plant based nutrition. And these doctors are not just ignorant on the subject of nutrition, it has been my experience that most of them are not in the least bit curious either. In fact, many of the doctors who I have spoken with over the last ten years have become defensive when I have raised the topic of plant based nutrition, and some have even laughed in a mocking way (I guess out of embarrassment from knowing so little). Did you know that over 50% of US medical doctors list drug representatives, Wikipedia, and YouTube videos as their #1 choice for finding information on how to treat their patients? I have to believe that most doctors are good people who have good intentions when they enter medical school. Unfortunately, over time, there seems to be a “Stepford Wife” type of brain washing that occurs within the health industrial complex, that causes most physicians to become champions of a corrupt and broken system that places profits over people. As a result, they become a part of the problem too.  

But there is more. Saul Alinsky once said that if you control healthcare, you control the people. As per Barbara Ehrenreich, “According to critical thinkers like Zola and Illich, one of the functions of medical ritual is social control. Medical encounters occur across what is often a profound gap in social status: Despite the last few decades’ surge in immigrant and female doctors, the physician is likely to be an educated and affluent white male, and the interaction requires the patient to exhibit submissive behavior—to undress, for example, and be open to penetration of his or her bodily cavities. These are the same sorts of procedures that are normally undertaken by the criminal justice system, with its compulsive strip searches, and they are not intended to bolster the recipient’s self-esteem. Whether consciously or not, the physician and patient are enacting a ritual of domination and submission, much like the kowtowing required in the presence of a Chinese emperor. Some physicians, unsurprisingly, see.” 

So, what can we do? Challenge your doctor. Push back. Keep in mind that even though diet is the biggest contributing factor to the development of disease, most doctors still don’t know anything about nutrition (let alone the power of plant-based nutrition). Know too that the only diet that has been proven to reverse heart disease, early stage prostate cancer, and type 2 diabetes, is a low fat whole food plant-based diet! Medical doctors too often provide horrible and dangerous advice, and too many of us still don’t question their behavior because we view each physician as some type of authority figure. Unless you are in a car accident, you should probably run from your doctor! 
Click here to learn more about the amazing power of plant-based nutrition in fighting chronic diseases and COVID-19. 
Click here to learn more about the shamefulness of Pink Ribbon Messaging.
Click here to learn more about how a top cancer hospital refuses to acknowledge the power of Plant Based Nutrition. 
Click here to learn more about how medical doctors got 70% of the questions wrong when being assessed for their clinical nutrition knowledge. 

I recently tried out a new dentist who received positive online reviews, and claimed to be progressive with regards to the healthiest treatments and latest technologies. The moment I stepped into her office, I was slammed with an advertisement for botox that contained the messaging that healthy looking skin can only be achieved with botox (no mention of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle). I was already uncomfortable. I only needed a cleaning and I was made even more uneasy by the insurance paperwork that asked over a dozen questions about teeth whitening, and only 1-2 questions on dental history. The final blow was when I sat down for the cleaning and I was asked to rinse with Listerine (which is full of unhealthy ingredients, including sodium saccharin, artificial colors, and sweeteners, etc.), and told that the medical office would need to take 18 (eighteen) X-rays. I asked why so many, and I was told that 18 X-rays are a requirement for new patients. I left without a cleaning.

“I’m not feeling very well, I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course.” – Groucho Marx

Our healthcare system is broken, and most doctors are benefiting financially from the status quo. The way our sick-care system is constructed, there is no profit to be made by the medical community on educating doctors (and patients) on nutrition, and the power of plant based nutrition. If doctors knew anything about nutrition, and shared it with their patients, there would be far fewer patients, and far fewer opportunities to exploit them financially. Preventing and reversing disease has little to no appeal for too many people and organizations in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. They are mostly interested in managing disease because that is how they afford their lifestyles, maximize profits, and amass their fortunes.

“People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, and are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” – Wendell Berry

We all need to take responsibility as well. I have known too many people who are/were sick, and refused to either believe in the science and power of plant-based nutrition, or were simply not interested. These were otherwise great people, who preferred to stay on their meds for life, while being doted on and receiving sympathy from family, and friends (while also harming animals and increasing their carbon footprint), rather than consider a plant-based diet. Whether it was heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, hypertension or an assortment of other illnesses that can be prevented, treated or reversed with a healthy vegan diet, it has been my experience that most people who are burdened with disease, would rather continue with the recommendations of the American Health Industrial Complex. These are the same industry protocols and suggestions that made them sick in the first place, and will no doubt diminish the quality of their lives, and likely shorten them as well. Alas, as Dr. T. Colin Campbell once said, “people love to hear good things about their bad habits”.  

And what about the so-called long waiting times of universal healthcare that we hear so much about from the “healthcare” industry and its lobbyists? Well, it is simply not true. As per researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (and elsewhere), Medicare for All would not increase wait times, in part because improved financial incentives for providers would mean better prioritization of care, which would lead to improved access and a reduction of unnecessary costs. In fact, according to the Commonwealth Fund, people in other industrialized nations with universal healthcare, get doctors’ appointments faster than Americans. Why does the healthcare industry and its lobbyists continue to scare people and lie about universal healthcare, and long wait times? Again, the US spends over $3.6 trillion per year on healthcare (sick-care), and it is big business. Does anyone think that they want that money train to stop (predictably, the US healthcare industry also outspends all other industries in lobbying efforts)? 

Does that mean that universal healthcare in the US would be perfect from the get go? Probably not, but even if it were slightly flawed in the beginning, it could still be fixed, and would save at least hundreds of billions of dollars per year, and more importantly, over 70,000 lives each year as well (conservatively). We would also have the luxury of learning from other health care systems from around the world, and cherry picking which ideas and policies work best (assuming that our decision makers have their hearts in the right place). For example, I have read that most Germans are happy with their healthcare system and that there is a strong sense of community, and a belief that everyone has the right to equal treatment. If you can pay more, you pay more, and if you can’t, you can’t. Apparently, there is an option to opt out, and go with private insurance too, but most don’t, including the more affluent consumers. One doctor in Germany likened it to choosing to fly in coach, rather than business class. Many Canadians and others from around the world take great pride in their healthcare systems too, and believe that healthcare is a human right. I agree!

Lastly, if you or someone you love is over 65 years old, avoid Medicare Advantage! According to credible sources, it is a complete scam and a way for healthcare executives and corporations to privatize Medicare (they have already stolen between $12-25 billion). As per Wendell Potter (via Democracy Now!): “It’s important to note that it is neither Medicare, nor is it an advantage. It is, I think, will be recognized in years to come as probably the biggest heist, the biggest fraud, the biggest transfer of wealth from taxpayers, middle-income, low-income Americans, from them to corporate executives and shareholders.”

Here are some takeaways from a recent episode of the always great Ralph Nader Radio Podcast on the subject of why Medicare Advantage is entirely fraudulent (featuring health advisor Kip Sullivan): 
Medicare Advantage (Dis-Advantage) is an absolute scam, and an attempt to privatize Medicare 
– Biden is aiding and abetting the privatization of Medicare, and is extending the problems of the Trump admin.(Ralph Nader)
– AARP is profiting from the creeping privatization of Medicare. They are part of the problem (Kip Sullivan).
– Direct contracting entities, ACO REACH is profiting too from the privatization of Medicare
– You can go to the doctors of your choice with Medicare.
Medicare Advantage doesn’t have as many choices (you better not get sick because you will find out that you don’t have the coverage that you thought you had. Delays, and loss of control are problems too).
Medicare Advantage has a narrow network. Out of network options may be cost prohibitive. 
Medicare Advantage is not only overpaid but they deny benefits at a higher rate than Medicare. Traditional medicare will not cause delays if you need a drug or chemo treatment. You could experience life threatening delays with Medicare Advantage.
– Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are not paying attention to Medicare Advantage. Pramila Jayapal is having some traction.
– Joe Biden is also aiding and abetting Aetna, United Health Care, and other insurance companies in their efforts to take over Medicare. Who is representing the elderly? AARP is not advising them, as they get a commission from UHC and have an economic relationship with them.
– Creeping Medicare privatization is occuring with the takeover of Medicare by both ACOs and insurance companies.
Medicare Board of Trustees (the hospitalization arm of Medicare) will be in the red by 2028.
– The US government has been overpaying these insurance companies for over 50 years.
– The elderly have to make a decision. Insurance companies are lying to them. 
– There is a crisis with the corporate takeover of medicare, where profits at any cost control the desperately needed health services of the elderly. 
– Politicians are being paid by health insurance companies.
– You can’t overstate the enthusiasm with which the Biden administration is promoting the takeover of Medicare by both Medicare Advantage plans and this new breed of parasite called the Accountable Care Organization, or ACO (Kip Sullivan).

Healthcare expert Kip Sullivan shared this advice with his elderly Mother many years ago, “Stay the hell away from Medicare Advantage. Stay with traditional Medicare and buy a supplemental policy (MediGap). Medicare Advantage looks good when you are healthy, but when you get sick, odds are they will deny you. The door will slam shut too once you join and it will be nearly impossible to go back and buy supplemental coverage. Insurance companies can then reject you depending on your condition, or charge you a lot more money. Don’t even think about Medicare Advantage. Sign up for traditional Medicare, and you have the option to also buy MediGap which is a good idea because of the holes in traditional Medicare coverage.”
Click here for the excellent episode from Ralph Nader Radio.

Since it is a no brainer, I thought for sure that the United States would have universal healthcare at some point in my lifetime. But I have my doubts, as capitalism and the commodification of life, once again rears its ugly head and the profits over people mentality continues to win out. I have to remind myself of the words of Frederick Douglass, Andrew Kimbrell, and others, and remember that all we can do is try and live up to the vision of who we want to be, and know that we can never fail, so long as we fight the good fight. Healthcare is an absolute human right, especially in the wealthiest country in the world. It is both immoral and unforgivable that the US government continues to reject a universal healthcare plan.

The bottom line? The best way to reduce your need for healthcare services is to adopt a whole food plant-based diet (which cuts disease rates and medical costs by roughly 70-80%). Mic drop. You will not hear this advice from most medical doctors or anyone in the “healthcare” industry, primarily because there is no financial incentive for them to have healthy patients, and an entire population that is plant-based. In order to maximize profits, the current “healthcare” system is structured to only promote and manage disease, and that’s it. We can’t rely on our government to do the right thing, as our political and judicial systems are completely broken and for the most part, run by criminals. As Noam Chomsky said, “the US is a criminal state that is run by corporate power.” And so, the Ass*ole-ification of America continues. 

“I’ve been asked a lot for my view on American healthcare. Well, ‘it would be a good idea,’ to quote Gandhi.” – Paul Farmer

Click here to learn more about how Medicare for All would prevent nearly 70,000 deaths, and save $450 billion each year.

Click here for the “Healthy Living is the Best Revenge Study” to learn more about how people who eat plant based diets, exercise, avoid smoking and watch their weight, reduce their chances of developing a disease by close to 80%.
Click here to learn more about projected wait times for Medicare for All.

Click here to learn more about how universal healthcare does not mean waiting longer to see a doctor.
Click here to learn more about the Medicare for All Act of 2021 from Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
Click here to learn more about how Medicare Advantage is a fraud from Democracy Now!.
Click here to learn more about the game changing work of Barbara Ehrenreich.
Click here to learn more from Minnesota Health Advisor Kip Sullivan.
Click here to learn more about a bill that would ban private insurance companies from using the Medicare name.
Click here to learn more from Pew Research Center on how the majority of Americans continue to say the federal government has a responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage.

Click here to learn more on how for profit healthcare worsened the pandemic.
Click here to learn how the US wastes 25% of its healthcare spending each year (up to $935 billion).
Click here to learn how Medicare for All would cut taxes for most Americans.
Click here to learn how Joe Biden has stuck with Trump’s scheme to privatize Medicare.
Click here to learn more about the problems with Obamacare.
Click here to learn more about how 1 in 5 Americans are in collections for medical debt.
Click here to learn more about Barbara Ehrenreich from Democracy Now!.
Click here for an article to learn more from Barbara Ehrenreich (1988).
Click here to learn more about the differences between Medicare and Medicare Advantage (Disadvantage) plans.
Click here to learn more from Kip Sullivan and Health Care for All Minnesota.
Click here for the HealthCare-Now website where CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin is on the Board of Directors.
Click here for congressional candidate (Nevada) and single payer healthcare advocate Amy Vilela’s website.
Click here to learn more about how private health insurance firms are trying to defraud the public.
Click here to learn more about the remarkable legacy of Dr. Paul Farmer.
Click here to learn more from Dr. Michael Greger on how diet is the number one cause of death.
Click here for Dr. Michael Greger’s excellent presentation on the amazing power of healthy Vegan diets.
Click here to learn more about Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, and her latest collection of poems.
Click here to learn more about how medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US.
Click here to learn more about how our food choices impact our life expectancy.
Click here for the study that shows how a healthy plant-based diet can extend your life by at least 12-14 years.
Click here to learn more about how plant-based diets not only increase life expectancy, but also quality of life too. 
Click here to learn more about the For-Profit health industry from Thom Hartmann.
Click here to learn more about how “Medicare Advantage” is a scam from The Lever

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